Q&A SERIES IV / Inca Starzinsky / Designers

For our fourth Q&A series, I introduce you to the talented graphic designer, Inca Starzinsky. I met Inca in college in London were we both studied Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins. Inca was my partner in crime in design and we worked on countless school projects together. Inca also holds a masters degree from the Royal College of Art where she focused her studies on textile design. She was also a member of the editorial & design team of Graphic Magazine and has designed for shoe companies Terra Plana & United Nude. Not to mention, she also taught me how to use freehand and photoshop at college. We are especially excited to introduce her latest work of silk scarves which with debut this month at Chariots on Fire's Pop up Shop at Tortoise in Venice, California. I am also convinced that this is just the start of many more collaborations to come. Enjoy! Ritz

Chariots on Fire: Your background is in graphic design and work with silkscreen printing on paper - what made you decide to start working with fabrics?

Inca: I was getting bored with the 2D-ness in graphic design and screen printing and wanted to experiment more with the application of print on 3D objects. This made me apply to the RCA (Royal College of Art) in 2005, and do not regret this move, even if it has been hard at times (as textiles is different to graphics in many ways). But I always wanted to combine the two disciplines. I never wanted to make a total career change - I am a graphic designer at heart.
Chariots on Fire: You've always been a fan of patterns - even at college you were always a master of silk screening combinations of shapes and vivid colors. Where does the fascination come from? 

Inca: Oh, I don't know exactly. Maybe from my family? Who had, and still have, some art from the '60s hanging in their houses, like Victor Vasarely etc, which used geometric shapes, patterns and bright colours. I grew up with this and it never left my brain.

Chariots on Fire: What inspired your "stamps" pattern? 

Inca: At the RCA I got more and more interested in printing digitally onto fabric. Not because it can be an easier and quicker process than screen printing, but I liked the idea of printing with photographic images onto fabric, prints and effects that you can't achieve with screen printing.

I got obsessed with the old, used, vintage, nostalgic, maybe because I got a little tired of the clean and perfect, the "white". I liked the idea of printing something old and worn out onto something high quality and new. Almost to preserve the history and stories behind objects.
Pictured above: Par Avion stamp scarves. Photo by: Joe Gascoigne

I had wanted to make a pattern with used stamps for a while, as stamps have connotations of travel, communication and (again) history, but in particular they represent a more meaningful, or perhaps romantic form of communication in the context of today’s society.

And the idea to separate them painstakingly by colours was born with you together, Ritz, on a very late night in London after a few glasses of wine.
Chariots on Fire: How does digital printing designs on fabric differ from working with print on paper?

Inca: A fair bit, as the ink bleeds a lot more on fabric than on paper, and the colours can be very different too. It drove me mad in the beginning, and I was once told that you can't work like a graphic designer in textiles, you can't make things as precise and perfect. For my final masters project at the RCA I ran tests for 4 months. I managed it in the end, and it was worth it, it was pretty close to what I wanted. I have now worked out a technique to do this much quicker…

Chariots on Fire: Any ideas brewing for your next scarf collection?

Inca: Yes, I have three new collections already. One of them will be exhibited during the London Design Festival 2011 in September.

Chariots on Fire:  Are you influenced by a particular era or style?

Inca: I used to always think the '60s. I like the style in general. When I started studying textiles and looked through the old vintage textile swatch books in the archives, I realised that a lot of prints and designs from the '60s were recycled from a long long time ago, just blown up to be more bold. But I guess this is what I like - big bold shapes.
Chariots on Fire: How do you start your day?

Inca: Putting out email fires (Douglas Coupland called it that on Twitter the other day, and I thought this was a great description), and a cup of coffee.

Chariots on Fire: What other profession other than yours would like to attempt?

Inca: This might sound odd and surprising, but I think I would love to work for a charity, doing some good.

Chariots on Fire: Do you consider yourself a collector? If so, what do you collect and why?

Inca: Several years ago I started to collect wood pieces. If it is the shape, the colour or the structure, it does not matter, as long as it has something intriguing about it. I think this comes from home influences again. My family has a few sculptures by Franz Bucher, who was a sculptor working with wood. As a child I was already very intrigued by these sculptures, and I still very much like his work now. Unfortunately he is not very well known internationally.

Then, I collect a lot of fabrics and haberdashery bits and pieces. There is no particular reason for this, I just always think I will make something nice with them, or it is for research, or I just want to own it.
Chariots on Fire: You live in London, what are some of your favorite "secret" spots?

Inca: Not sure if I know many secret spots. I live in Hackney and do really like this part of London. I don't go out and explore London that much anymore, but in this part of town I tend to constantly find new places popping up. The east seems to change weekly. I do sometimes feel by accident like a tourist in my own town. Just the other week I came across two little bakeries, which I have never seen before, under the arches on Mentmore Terrace. One even hosts a bread-making course on Saturdays. I might pop down one Saturday and take part, I like baking.

Chariots on Fire Pop up Shop at Tortoise!

Chariots on Fire will be sharing their collection of jewelry and will also be launching "ParAvion" digitally
printed scarves by graphic artist Inca Starzinsky at the Tortoise gallery in Venice, CA. Accessorize for Fall
with sparkling sculpted Jet from Jacqueline Cullen, oxidized silver and garnet from Marianne Andersen,
bold ceramic pieces by Marion Vidal and On za Line.

Please join us for the opening party on Thursday August, 18th from 6 - 9 pm. 
We would love to meet our local customers in the Los Angeles area. 
Please stop by to say hi!

Thank you Lisa from Racked LA for your welcoming message!

Isolee - monitor

The best animation starts at 2:37 and continues through the end which is so wild and trippy!!  

Beethoven, Symphony 7, Allegretto, mvt 2

One of my favorite Beethoven pieces, symphony No.7 with interesting graphic visual.

Marion Vidal in British Vogue

We are loving this 40's inspired story with the lovely Kate Moss wearing Chariots on Fire's 
favorite, Marion Vidal's ceramic necklaces. 

Marion Vidal's new collection will be available at Chariots on Fire in August!

British Vogue, August 2011 Issue
Photo: Mario Testino, Fashion editor: Lucinda Chambers


Taylor - Burton
: relief in salvaged wood by Ron van der Ende
Flawless: relief in reclaimed timbers by Ron van der Ende

A spirit of enquiry...

The lady herself: 'Charlotte Perriand en Savoie, vers 1930'

If you are in or around Paris this summer, take a moment to see  Charlotte Perriand: Photography to Interior Design, at the Petit Palais. This fascinating perspective on her work takes you to the core of her inspirations as a designer by looking at the role that photography played in her creative process. Her use of photography shaped ideas about the "laws of nature", cataloguing components of both our natural environments and man-made urban environments. This meditation on the shape of things directly flowed into her thought process informing much of her furniture design, experimentation with spatial arrangements, forms and materials use during her time at the Le Corbusier/Pierre Jeanneret studio. Many of the photographs document objects found on her numerous walks. 'The most important thing to realise is that what drives the modern movement is a spirit of enquiry,' she once said. 'It's a process of analysis and not a style.' This exhibition definitely exposes us to her sense of curiosity. 

The inspiration photograph: 'Art Brut Grès plage Normandie vers' by Charlotte Perriand, 1935...
©AChP_ADAGP, Paris 2011... and the final product: 'Table Basse' by Charlotte Perriand, 1984
Collection Musée des Arts décoratifs. Photograph: Pernette Perriand-Barsac, ©AChP_ADAGP,
Paris 2011

The inspiration photograph:'Immeuble de l’Armée du Salut en construction, vers' by Charlotte
Perriand, 1931... ©AChP_ADAGP, Paris 2011... and the final product: 'Meuble de séparation'
by Charlotte Perriand, 1954 ©AChP_ADAGP, Paris 2011

The exhibition runs until 11 September 2011 at the Petit Palais, Paris.

Jet black with sparkles

Jacqueline Cullen's Whitby Jet & Crystal earrings.

Hello summer

These images of fireworks by Pierre Le Hors - I LOVE. Although in black and white, it reminds
me of warm, colorful summer nights in Japan.

Eat, drink, shop

During a recent trip to SF Makiko took us to this bright yellow Victorian Gem in the dogpatch.
3 retails joined together: Restaurant: Piccino/coffee to go (serving Piccino roast by Blue
bottle), Lifestyle/fashion: M.A.C. & Wine bar: Dig. Its nice to see this area of town develop.
Piccino was always a dogpatch favorite alongside brunch & Beignets at Just for You across
the street.
View of the M.A.C. shop & restaurant from the bar.
We all stop for coffee. Makiko sips on Piccino roast by Blue bottle. Neil, as always, checking
the crema of his shot of espresso.